|Models pose with the redesigned 2014 Kia Soul at a ceremony in Seoul on Tuesday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)|
Kia Motors on Tuesday unveiled the 2014 Kia Soul, the first major redesign for the brand’s flagship small wagon that debuted in 2008.
With the new, heavily redesigned Soul, the carmaker pledged to compete head-on with its fashionable rival, the Mini Cooper.
“In a recent blind test comparing the two cars, more than 70 percent of 150 participants gave higher scores to the Soul than the Mini,” claimed Seo Chun-kwan, Kia’s marketing director.
“We just wanted to create a car that everyone would want to own regardless of its engine capacity or price.”
Compared to its predecessor, the new Soul is equipped with a more rigid chassis, a reworked suspension, updated styling inside and out and a host of new features.
New features, however, added some weight to the original model as well, which means a slight sacrifice in fuel ratings from the previous 12 kilometers per liter to 11.6.
Two engines are available in Korea: the 1.6-liter GDi engine with 132 horsepower and the 1.6-liter VGT diesel engine with 128 horsepower.
Prices range from 15.95 million won ($15,000) for the base model to 20.15 million for the high-end line.
Kia said it aims to sell 190,000 units of the Soul next year, including 20,000 in Korea and 170,000 abroad.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)